A while back, I went on somewhat of a European long weekend road trip sort of thing through Spain and France. On the Saturday, we drove all day and ended up in the rather scenic town of Dijon. The next day, we were surprised and delighted to find an open supermarket (on a Sunday? In France?!). While shopping for the obligatory mustard, bread and cheese, I found a little shelving unit with a bunch of what I assumed to be locally produced jams and conserves.
I was eyeing up the different jars and trying to figure out what all the names meant when one of them caught my eye. While I wasn’t at all sure about most of what the label said, there was no mistaking one bit of it – chocolat noir. Jam with chocolate in it is not something I’d personally come across before and after searching the Chocablog archives and reading the review of the Chocolat Factory Pear & Chocolate Jam I was certainly curious. My experience of French food told me you can’t really go wrong with French produce. Isn’t it actually illegal to serve a bad meal in France? It certainly seems like it!
I bought the jar put it with the rest of my French food shopping and then obviously forgot all about it.
Recently, I found it while tidying up the kitchen and decided to open it and try some. A bit of online research revealed the company, plus the ingredients, so I was ready for action. Being the purist that I am (OK, I’d actually ran out of bread), I tried it with a spoon.
It was a completely unexpected flavour, but very delicious. You can’t taste the coconut at all (which could be disappointing for coconut fans, though I wasn’t bothered), but the apple and chocolate flavours blend remarkably well.
What we have here is essentially very fruity, but not overly sweet apple jam. It’s not actually got a very strong apple flavour. Think of more solid, delicately flavoured applesauce streaked with dark chocolate that gives you the occasional rich chocolatey hit. Apparently they add dark chocolate chips to the jam, but obviously they don’t look anything like chips by the time the chocolate is over.
I’d be curious to see how this jam would fit in with recipes that call for more traditional apple or fruit jam. I found the flavour quite surprising, if not outright odd (in a good way!), as the texture and look of the jam would imply your standard jammy taste, but the taste is decidedly chocolate-sauce infused at times. I think it may actually increase with time (or closer to the bottom of the jar).
The company’s website says they do a few other chocolate-infused products and I’m keen to try them all now.